How to Sell Your Blog Online
Blogging has grown to take up more and more of the online business space. It’s not slowing down. Semrush states that “the number of bloggers in the United States has increased by 10 million between 2014 and 2020 — to a total of 31.7 million in 2020. In addition, the content marketing industry, of which blogging is a central part, is forecasted to be worth $412.88 billion in 2021.
With that amount of activity, many blogs exist on either extreme end of business value. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some perform so well as business entities that they can be sold for a substantial amount.
If you want to sell your blog online, it’s important to understand the online business landscape, and to know what your business is worth based on how it generates revenue.
If your blog is strong enough in terms of traffic and revenue to be an attractive buy, you can prepare for the sale of your blog by shoring up your analytics and business assets, doing your due diligence, and working with an experienced broker before finally listing your blog in the marketplace.
How To Know If Your Blog Is Valuable
There’s a wide difference between blogs that end up selling for substantial amounts and those that are not considered valuable businesses.
Some important factors to keep in mind are that small personal blogs are not usually seen as viable for business purposes, especially if there’s no meaningful revenue model attached Blogs with significant traffic, diverse revenue streams, documented standard operating procedures (SOPs), growing profits, and a strong brand presence are potentially the most valuable.
It is also worth considering as to whether the blog is “evergreen,” as opposed to topical or seasonal. That is, does your blog cover topics that are relevant any time of the year, and that do not depend on events or timing? These types of websites have more business potential and may appeal more to buyers.
Finally, how “niched down” is your blog, and how large of a paying market does it serve? According to Flippa, “Health and Beauty is tied with Home and Garden for the niche with the highest sell rate.”
It may be that your blog has a good chance, based on the above criteria, to fetch a high price in a sale.
In this case, it’s important to understand the valuation methods that may be formally applied to your business. A broker can walk you through these.
Valuation Methods For Blog-Based Businesses
The primary method of valuing a blog is based on a multiple of monthly net income.
This income can be determined in terms of “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization” (EBITDA) or “seller’s discretionary earnings” (SDE). Multiples are then applied to arrive at a price for the business.
Using EBITDA For A Valuation
EBITDA is a very common valuation metric which adds back some expenses to the business earnings total, as suggested by the name.
Applying SDE To The Valuation
The SDE balance measures a venture’s value based on the earnings that the owner generates from it. The formula is as follows:
(Pre-tax, pre-interest earnings) + (such as travel, vehicles, and other transactions listed as business expenses) = SDE
SDE adds back business expenses that have some personal benefit to the owner. The formula calculates the total financial benefit earned by the owner, and gives a potential buyer of your blog a picture of how much they can earn as a sole proprietor under similar conditions as yourself.
While preparing for the sale of your blog, you will need to do some accounting and take inventory of the fundamentals of your business.
Preparing To Sell
Preparing to sell your blog entails some of the due diligence tasks of selling any small business.
You’ll have to prepare an accurate profit and loss (P&L) statement. This entails detailing and breaking down your blog’s earnings from all revenue sources, including ads, affiliate sales, direct merchandise sales, or membership fees.
This includes reports from analytics tools, which show your website’s performance in terms of traffic and user behavior. Google Analytics is the most commonly used analytics platform, with 56.6% of all websites running it according to W3Techs. Web-savvy blog buyers are likely to be familiar with its reports.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
If running your blog involves a detailed, step-by-step schedule of daily tasks and benchmarks, and if there are other aspects critical to your business that must be managed — such as working with freelancers or virtual assistants — documented SOPs should be part of the package you present to a buyer.
In addition, removing yourself from your blog as much as possible (that is, removing personal anecdotes, or content you’ve added for personal reasons as opposed to business-related ones) will make the sale easier, as it makes your blog more viable for transfer to a new business owner.
As part of that process, it helps to reduce the personal time spent on the blog in the months leading up to the sale, while doing what’s necessary to sustain revenue growth. This can help you pull back your personal influence over the blog’s design and content, while helping you build the case that another owner can fill your shoes easily.
Once you’re finally prepared to sell, there are numerous outlets where you’ll find blog buyers ready to take action.
How Blogs Are Traded And Sold Online
The most popular online marketplace for the sale of blogging businesses is Flippa.
Flippa boasts 3 million users and over 300,000 digital assets sold as of late 2021.
On Flippa, you can list your blog where potential buyers can easily review your business details including a traffic analysis, profit margins, and your seller notes, and make you an offer if interested.
Blogs are also often sold through private networking, for example, in Facebook groups or by approaching blog owners directly. However, this can represent pitfalls for sellers, as buyers may offer a price far below what a blog is worth.
It’s also important to understand that buyers often make a subjective evaluation when seeking to buy blogs. This is especially the case for blogs that have less of a track record of revenues, or that conform less to traditional business models.
It pays to work with a broker who can help you determine your blog’s fair market value and help you get the most profitable sale.
How An Expert Broker Can Help
Since blogs are all over the scale in terms of business value, it can be difficult to assess what they can, and should, sell for.
It can also be hard to do your due diligence alone as a seller, and complete the full scope of financial and legal investigations that go along with properly preparing for a sale.
If your blog represents a profitable business, Raincatcher can help you sell it. Our brokers have many years of experience in valuing online businesses and putting sellers in the best possible position when approaching the marketplace.
We can help you decide if your blog is able to sell for a substantial amount. If it can, we can walk you through the process of valuing your business, preparing for the sale, and negotiating an attractive sale price.